Liquor In The Snowflakes: Irish Coffee For When It’s Cold Outside

In a semi-regular segment entitled Liquor In The ______ that can’t be too regular because I’m probably drinking right now, I’m going to write to you about all the different ways you can liquor. I recognize that it’s weird, especially for those of you who have actually had a drink with me, because I am what the frat boys would call a “two-beer queer” (what I would call a “no-beer queer,” as I’m gay all the live long day). But I get drunk very easily, is the point. Still, I really really like beer, wine and liquor and want to share that love for the artistry of alcohol with you all, my favorite queers. Let’s lift a pint to alcohol and our Autostraddle community– they go together like wine and soft cheese.

Header by Rosa Middleton


Irish Coffee is basically all my favorite things: Irish Whiskey, whipped cream and, of course, coffee. I drink 2-3 cups of coffee per day and can think of nothing better than adding alcohol to it.

The thing about Irish Coffee is that it’s only as good as your base ingredients, so even though I’m lazy in the morning and use my Keurig, I went ahead and used the French press and some freshly ground coffee beans for this cocktail. I also emailed my mother and got the recipe she uses for homemade whipped cream (the kind that goes on top of my father’s chocolate cream pie). See, I have this thing about my cocktails. Yes, my machine-made Keurig and commerical whipped cream are good for the everyday, but if I’m going to be enough of a lush to make myself this gorgeous, delicious cocktail, I am not going to make it the fast food of cocktails. I’m going to use solid ingredients because it is going to taste so fucking good. You can use whatever coffee and whipped cream recipe you’d like, but I’m going to offer up my recipes for all the components, not just the cocktail itself. Besides, my mom’s whipped cream is awesome (and also probably similar to all of y’all’s parents’ whipped cream, as there are only so many ways to make whipped cream). I did some sweet, sweet modifications on the recipe used by the owner/mixologist at Little Branch, published in Speakeasy Cocktails.

irish coffee ingredients


1 1/2 ounce jigger (you guys…I caved and bought myself the jigger I listed in the team gift guide) A muddling spoon
Glasses (the kind made for hot drinks)
mixing bowl
French press
measuring cup (1 cup)
Measuring spoons (teaspoon and tablespoon)
kitchen timer


Mom’s Homemade Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons freshly ground coffee beans per person
6 oz boiling water per person

The Cocktail Itself
1 1/2 oz Irish Whiskey per person (I used Bushmills)
2 brown sugar cubes per person


Start with the whipped cream. Combine the sugar, vanilla, and cream in your metal mixing bowl. If you want a nice, quick whipped cream, use a hand mixer like my mother suggests. Or you could be like me and not own a hand mixer, so you take turns whisking the shit out of the cream with your girlfriend. Beat it until peaks form. According to my mother, the trick is knowing when to stop. Whisk too long and you’ll make butter, and butter does not go well with Irish Coffee. I even whisked a little too short because I don’t want fluffy clouds of whipped cream, but rather a thick, almost-foam for the top of my cocktail. Put the whole mixing bowl in the fridge and move on.

This is the desired amount of peakage for this particular recipe.

This is the desired amount of peakage for this particular recipe

Now move on to the coffee. Boil the 6 oz. of water per person. Take it off the heat and let it sit for 30 seconds to let it cool off. Scoop your ground coffee into the French press, pour the water over it and set a timer for four minutes. After a minute, stir the crust that forms on the top into the water. Put the lid on, then when the timer goes off, plunge the French press.

sugar cubes

Now for the boozey part. Put two brown sugar cubes into each glass and fill half-way with coffee. Break up the sugar cubes with the flat end of your muddling spoon Use your jigger to measure an ounce and a half of whiskey into each glass. Fill the rest of the cup with coffee.

add the whipped cream

Grab your whipped cream from the fridge. Using a spoon, drizzle the cream onto the top of the drink, trying your damndest not to break the surface of the coffee. Serve to your family/friends/roommates/harem of girls and enjoy! Happy Winter!

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A.E. Osworth

A.E. Osworth is part-time Faculty at The New School, where they teach undergraduates the art of digital storytelling. Their novel, We Are Watching Eliza Bright, about a game developer dealing with harassment (and narrated collectively by a fictional subreddit), is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing (April 2021) and is available for pre-order now. They have an eight-year freelancing career and you can find their work on Autostraddle (where they used to be the Geekery Editor), Guernica, Quartz, Electric Lit, Paper Darts, Mashable, and drDoctor, among others.

A.E. has written 542 articles for us.


  1. Newly discovered Irish coffee gamechanger: replace the whipped cream with a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream. It’s amahzing

  2. YUM. Also it’s coffee so totes work appropriate, right? What a great reason to invest in another bottle of whiskey.

  3. The problem with getting food/drink suggestions from the same person who provided such AMA inf information at the Camp Sex Panel is that I sometimes get the two confused. My first thought upon reading this article header was “Ooh! New suggestions from Ali! Hmm, lick her in the snowflakes. Ok. But where exactly on her body are the snowflakes?”

  4. I’m spending Christmas in the Northern Californian snow for the first time in years. I also saw the most beautiful lady in the world today… Now to get her attention with this tempting treat. Foolproof plan! Haha

  5. Some secrets about whipped cream, courtesy of a pastry student:

    Cream whips better when *everything* is cold. Stick your whisk and your bowl (both metal) in the freezer for a while before you start. Your arms will thank you.

    Also (according to the textbooks at least) cream that’s a couple days old will whip better than cream fresh off the cow. Weird, huh?

    • Dear Cat,

      This falls into the category of things I wish I had known before I whipped that cream.


  6. I feel like the real fast food version of this drink is not so much using a Keurig and canned whipped cream as it is making instant coffee and pouring in Bailey’s. Which may or may not be a thing I have done.

    • Coffee (not instant!) and Bailey’s is the best. That’s my fav winter drink. Along with cocoa + Bailey’s + vodka. Love a hot cocktail when it’s freeze-my-ass-off outside.

  7. Top tip (from someone who worked in a bar in Ireland for three years, which worked out at about 800 Irish Coffees and a short-lived hatred of anyone who dared ordered one when it was busy): If you stop whipping the cream before it “peaks” and spoon it on slowly via the back of another spoon, the worlds of coffee/whiskey and cream won’t collide..until you slurp it down.

    I’m also Team Jameson :)

  8. Where do you get brown sugar cubes? I have never heard of them. And I spend a lot of time in the sugar aisle.

    • Hm, you find them pretty much anywhere here in France, can’t remember at home. Maybe try a co-op or Whole Food or other hippie-ish store? I say that because my BFF is vegan and buys brown sugar because of something gross to do with bones and processing white sugar or such and Whole Foods usually has her needs covered.

  9. Mm. Yes. This was a good idea and will certainly help me through the rest of my trip to visit my family.

    @RoseGraced, I just used normal brown sugar instead and it worked out fine. Although I suppose if you’re making this treat to show off for someone, the cubes would be a nice touch.

  10. I rarely drink in the morning, but when I do, it’s an Irish coffee. However, I prefer Bailey’s as the cream element; it sweetens ‘er up and makes it more tepid simultaneously…and of course piles on a touch more booze.

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